Homeopathy for Improving Self-EsteemTamara Der-Ohanian April 1, 2006
Our self-esteem is shaped by the responses we get from our parents, siblings, peers and teachers while growing up. Psychology’s definition of self-esteem is the person’s perceived value of their self-worth. While self-esteem tells the truth about self worth, in contrast, the ego is an artificial aspect of the self; one can remain highly egotistical to disguise their feelings of inadequacy.
The cost of low self-esteem can be high. Not valuing oneself can lead to self-destructive habits like addiction to alcohol and drugs, anxiety, depression, poor relationships all around, feelings of inadequacy and jealousy, and ending up in abusive relationships, to name just a few.
The American Psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908-1970), one of the leading authorities on human needs, proposed that in order for human beings to act unselfishly, their needs must be satisfied. According to Maslow, all humans have five universal needs:
1. physiological (air, water, food, sleep, sex, etc.)
2. security (shelter, safety of family, law and order, etc.)
3. social or love (sense of belonging; family, social groups, clubs, gangs, etc.)
4. esteem (self-esteem and recognition from others) and
5. Self-actualization (desire to become all that you are). Maslow further proposed that needs are proponent (have the greatest influence over our actions) until satisfied. For example, food will be the proponent need for a hungry homeless person. Once their hunger is satisfied, the proponent need will then become shelter or security.
The proponent need for the average Canadian is likely to fall in the “social” or “esteem” categories – where the need for a sense of belonging, approval and praise from family and peers is paramount. Thus conflict, selfishness, depression, feelings of inadequacy, sibling rivalry, behavioural problems in children, and ill health in general can stem from a perception that one’s needs are not being satisfied.
Homeopathic medicine can help change this perception and put you in touch with your higher self. Homeopathy is a medical system that heals the whole person simultaneously; mind, body and spirit. The Greek philosopher Plato (428-349 BC) said that physicians are misguided in considering the soul and body as separate when treating illness. In the homeopathic model “dis-ease” is a sign that the person is ill at ease in him or herself, and that his or her soul is fragile.
In consulting with a patient, a homeopath’s task is to determine each person’s essence or the core issues that create negative energy patterns in their minds and bodies, which attract situations of conflict into their lives. The corresponding homeopathic remedy, one that matches the negative energy patterns, can heal the spirit and allow it to proceed with its higher purpose. When the human spirit is healthy, physical and emotional illnesses cannot exist within it.
Patients often consult me for relief from “traditional” physical ailments like arthritis, insomnia, digestive disorders, migraines and the like. During the initial consultation, a long discussion about their specific ailment and the chain of life events that lead to the ailment almost always reveals underlying emotional disturbances.
Leila, a 42-year-old single mother was no different. She consulted me for a chronic cough she’d had on and off since childhood. Her cough had gotten worse since after her divorce and escalated into spasmodic fits that would wake her up or keep her up at night. As I got to know Leila’s personality, it became apparent that she had feelings of inadequacy, relied excessively upon others’ approval and her biggest fear was being alone. She confided that she would hang on to relationships that were not good for her (even abusive) because it was better than being alone. The remedy Phosphorus was a perfect fit which encompassed the specific symptoms of her cough, her general nature, her predisposition to lung disorders, her feelings of inadequacy and most importantly her fear of being alone.
Over a period of three months, Leila’s cough subsided and became almost non-existent. She reported feeling more confident, happier, and not as concerned with being alone.
Poor sleeping patterns and difficulties with memory and concentration were the main symptoms exhibited by two brothers ages 10 and 14 respectively. After their initial visit, treatment progressed as usual and I saw the boys twice more. The 10-year-old was given the homeopathic remedy Sulphur for his poor sleeping, and the 14-year-old was given Lachesis for his poor memory and concentration. Their health improved greatly over the next four months, and their mother was quite pleased with the results. The younger one was sleeping through the night and the older had developed better concentration.
What was astonishing to their mother was the “side effect” (as she called it) from the remedies. The boys had grown much less hostile towards one another and actually showed mutual respect. The once habitual hostility and exchange of insults was replaced with camaraderie and good feelings towards one another. The boys still had occasional disagreements, but were able to resolve them amicably. Their mother urged me to write this article and spread the word about the success.
At first, I had a dilemma with making statements like “homeopathy cures sibling rivalry” or “I have the potion for sibling rivalry!” People will surely think I should be receiving medical attention, rather than offering it, I thought. After much contemplation, however, I decided to share my theories. The truth is that homeopathy had helped improve the self-esteem of both boys, making them feel more healthy and whole. As a result their feelings of jealousy and competitiveness towards one another had diminished substantially.
My proposal is simply that homeopathy heals the human spirit, freeing us to pursue our passions and progress towards our purpose in life, and conflict cannot reside within a healed spirit.
Over the last century human beings have come to realize that in order to be happy, one must be healthy physically and emotionally, and fulfilling his or her creative potential. In addition, we have become conscious of the fact that happiness does not come from outside sources or material things; true happiness can only come from within.
Psychologist Carl Jung stated that modern man is sick because he is not whole. In homeopathy there are thousands of remedies, each corresponding to different “states of emotional suffering.” Denial of our feelings of fear, anger, grief and loss can restrict our freedom of expression and create these states of emotional suffering. These bottled unexpressed emotions create conflict within us, and over time create disease. A carefully prescribed homeopathic remedy “mimics” the person’s state of emotional suffering; reminding the body to resolve and release the negativity.
When we take a carefully selected homeopathic remedy, one which corresponds with our deepest emotional issues combined with our physical ailments, the result can be truly remarkable. Our physical ailments slowly disappear, our emotions are healed and we embark on a journey towards our purpose in life.
Tamara Der-Ohanian, DSHomMed, HOM, was a registered homeopath practising in North York, Ont. She also taught at the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine. Tamara passed away in 2019. For those who are seeking homeopathic approaches to illness, Kerry Walker is a colleague of Tamara's and a graduate of The Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine. She can be reached at 647-781-4861 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org